In this Health Article:
- What Are the Types of Asthma?
- What Are the Types of Asthma?
- What Are the Symptoms of Asthma?
- What Are the Diagnosis & Tests for Asthma?
- What Are the Treatments Available for Asthma?
- How Do You Cope Up with Asthma?
- What Are the Ways to Prevent Asthma?
- Medications for Asthma Available at InternationalDrugMart.com
- Self Care
IntroductionAsthma is a disease of the lungs. Asthma affects the breathing passages of the lungs. The person affected with asthma faces breathing difficulty as the airways of the lung become blocked, narrowed or filled with mucus. The airways of those affected with asthma are extra sensitive to things they are allergic to or other irritating things called irritants present in the air.
What Are the Types of Asthma?The exact cause of asthma is not known. Asthma may occur due to one or a combination of the following factors.
- Genetic- runs in families
- Respiratory infects like cold, flu, sore throats etc.
- Environmental factors-triggered by house dust mites, dander, pollen
- Changes in weather condition or changes in temperature.
- Some foods, preservatives and flavorings.
- Certain drugs.
- Lack of exercise
- Occupational exposure
- Reaction to medications.
What Are the Types of Asthma?Three defined types of asthma are extrinsic or allergic asthma, intrinsic or non-allergic asthma and mixed asthma.
Extrinsic or Allergic asthma: This type of asthma is triggered by external triggers or allergens such as pet dander, pollen, dust mites, wood dust, cigarette smoke, chemicals, viral infections, bacteria, stress and exercise induced. Children are more susceptible to allergic asthma.
Intrinsic or Non-allergic asthma: This type is not triggered by external triggers but due to respiratory tract infections. Possible causes include respiratory irritants such as perfumes, cleaning agents, fumes, cigarette smoke, chest infections, cold air, food preservatives and stress.
Mixed asthma: This type is a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic asthma. The person with mixed asthma will react to allergens but other irritants will also trigger the asthma.
What Are the Symptoms of Asthma?The symptoms of asthma may differ from person to person, and from time to time. While some may have all these symptoms others may only have a wheeze or cough. Moreover, the symptoms may also differ from one episode of asthma and the other. One asthma episode can be mild and the subsequent can be severe compared to the earlier. Some may have symptoms every day while some may have a long symptom free period suddenly interrupted by periodic asthma episodes. These are the usual symptoms associated with an asthma attack.
- Excessive coughing, especially at night
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue while exercising
- Wheezing or coughing post exercising.
- Tightness in the chest.
- Symptoms similar to cold like running nose, cough, sore throat and headache.
- Change in color, amount or thickness of mucus.
- Loss of good sleep or inability to sleep well.
What Are the Diagnosis & Tests for Asthma?If you find your symptoms similar to Asthma, contact your family physician who may recommend an asthma specialist physician. The diagnosis is aimed at finding signs of asthma, and determining its type. Your asthma specialist physician will ask questions related to your health, family medical history, symptoms that are causing distress, its timing and any other health concerns, you may have. This will be followed by a physical examination, lung function (breathing) test, spirometry test, chest x-ray, bronchoprovocation test, and an allergy test. If your doctor suspects asthma, certain medications may be prescribed to reduce asthma. On the other hand, if your doctor suspects that you have conditions other than asthma, related tests will be recommended.
What Are the Treatments Available for Asthma?Treatment for asthma varies from one to another. Post diagnosis and tests, your doctor will discuss asthma treatment plan that is best suited for you taking into consideration your age, health condition, what you need to do to control and feel better. Besides avoiding things that trigger asthma, asthma medications will be prescribed. There are two types of medications namely, quick-relief medications and long-term control medications.
Quick-relief medicines: As the name suggests, it provides instant relief to asthma sufferers, usually within minutes. These medicines need to be taken at the first signs of asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or shortness of breath for immediate relief. Your doctor will also recommend you to carry your quick-relief inhaler with you at all times.
Long-term control medicines: These medicines have to be taken every day and for a long period of time in order to prevent symptoms and asthma episodes or attacks. Those with persistent asthma will be given long-term control medicines.
How Do You Cope Up with Asthma?You are not alone. Approximately 20 million Americans have Asthma. Living with a chronic illness like asthma can be indeed very difficult. Here are some tips to cope with asthma and live life better.
- Forgetting or postponing medication intake should be avoided.
- Take your medications as prescribed.
- Observe and track triggers.
- Reduce or eliminate triggers from daily life.
- Share with doctor so that the treatment plan is effective.
- Join local or online asthma support team and share news.
- Empower yourself reading books, pamphlets etc about asthma.
- Know what to do during an asthma attack.
- If an inhaler is suggested, know how to use it effectively.
- Never let asthma condition deter you.
- Learn techniques to think positive.
- Get involved in things that give happiness.
- Resolve to help other asthma sufferers.
What Are the Ways to Prevent Asthma?Asthma as such may not be preventable. However, you can take measures to lower your chances of getting an asthma attack. Use these tips to prevent asthma.
- Gain information about Asthma, types, symptoms and triggers
- Observe and track triggers, irritants or allergens.
- Never postpone or miss appointment with doctor
- Cut down exposure or totally avoid triggers.
- Take special care during chill weather conditions.
- Consult doctor for special dietary supplements.
- Learning breathing exercises can help.
- Make lifestyle changes where needed.
- Keep environment clean.
- Quit smoking.
- Reap benefits of regular exercising.
- Check air quality at home, air purifier can help.
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Self CareHere are few simple, effective asthma self-care tips that can ease your asthma symptoms.
- Record asthma symptoms.
- Avoid triggers
- Take medications regularly.
- Follow doctor's advice
- Always carry asthma medicines.
- Beware of asthma signs.
- Follow guidelines for eating well with asthma
- Learn and practice breathing exercises.
- Avoid exposure to cold air.
- Watch air quality
- Get regular exercise consult doctor.
- Free home from asthma triggers.
- Learn from doctor what to do during emergency.
- Try not to travel alone.
- Maintain asthma action plan diary.